re: “First, I think it means that they will maintain friendships and other relationships longer in life.”
I would think again… We all have limited time. I doubt those who claim to have more than a handful of (actual) friends. Makes me think they are counting acquaintances as friends — they don’t know the difference.
This is the trap (well… on of them…) Facebook and other “social networks” seem to exploit: “come over here! you’ll keep more friendships than you ever imagined! — just send an itty-bitty note to everybody you know every now and then”… right:)… that’s just going to cause you to lose your actual friends while chasing some meaningless number…
Just imagine *all* those people from your past would have responded and would have been ready to spend the amount of time needed for an actual friendship for indefinite time –> COULD you have done it? (I’m not asking *would* you have done it — I’m assuming you would have *liked* to do it… you just couldn’t have possibly fit all of them in for the long run…)
Jeff, I see the same problem with your argument: it seems to ignore what it takes to keep actual friendships and what is a feasible number of such friendships and goes along with the social networks’ self-interested presentation of mere contacts as friends. D.